Saturday, October 22, 2016

Updates, honesty, and what lies ahead...

Hello everyone!

As most of you know, I was in a car crash a couple of weeks ago and life hasn’t really been the same for the past ten days. My car was damaged badly and repair costs are over $8300, and that doesn’t include personal stuff that resulted from this crash. I’ve had x-rays that show there is a compression fracture low in my spine, and severe whiplash that runs from shoulders to tailbone… all in all, I’m in a lot of pain and haven’t been able to do a lot for the past ten days.

I have a long road back from the pain, apparently, because I had pre-existing issues that have also been made worse. The other driver, a woman close to 92 years old, is fine and trying to dodge responsibility by denying everything, even being charged for the driving offense.

So, next week is very likely to begin a long run with physio therapy, more statements to insurance people, and probably a face to face with her insurance company regarding the injury. I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks.

Despite having a lot of down time away from the computer, I’ve been reading more, and really looking honestly at a lot of things in terms of a writing career gone wrong. I’ve tried to quit, usually not with much success, and I’ve adapted to market changes, learned, and written things I love–and things I hate. Ultimately, all it’s gotten me is a bad case of regrets and disappointment.

I guess in many ways I’ve been the architect of my own failure because somehow I always choose integrity over expedience, and therein lies the bigger issue. I’ve had a lot of battles with people in this business, many more than I ever would have believed possible because the truth is, I don’t look for controversy and generally just want to be left alone. It took me several years to rid myself of the insanity of role players constantly hounding me, and creating dramas while they went about destroying whatever reputation I had built. When I’m done, I walk away… I remove people from my social media who have brought nothing but emotional upheaval and maybe that inadvertently creates more issues than it solves? Who knows? I certainly can’t make heads or tails of it.

I’m a sensitive and intuitive soul, always have been. I say that as a simple statement of fact, not a ploy for empathy or sympathy. When I help people out, which I have often done, and I get back snide comments, gossip, and outright lies from people I once trusted, it does hurt. When I see people I consider friends continuing to interact with the ones who’ve ripped into me, it does hurt. I’m a big girl, though, and I try to leave that pain and sense of mild betrayal where it belongs, and I try to move forward. I don’t pretend to understand because I don’t work this way–when someone hurts someone I love, I deal directly with the person who’s hurt my friend, and I just remove the offender from my radar. That is MY way of dealing with things. I don’t continue to court the people who lie and belittle those I care about. I can’t do it any other way and still be true to who I am as a person.

I have removed at least two well-known and successful NY Times best-selling authors from my social pages because they lied outright to me about situations that hurt a lot of people close to me. Was it a wise career move? Probably not. Hell, I know it wasn’t, really. But, again, I choose my loyalties and stand by them. I don’t use the people I know to make myself look better or more important to readers, or potential audiences. In the end, this may be part of why I stagnate in obscurity while a lot of people I know move into the big publishing houses and make it onto the lists.

At the end of the day, nothing I do makes much of a difference, and I accept that, too. Pain is not a great catalyst for decision making, so I won’t use how I feel right now as an excuse to quit. That said, I also won’t pretend I like people I don’t like, or use the success of others to further my chances at getting ahead in this business. If I can’t do it on my own terms, I won’t do it at all… and that, it seems, is the way it will end up being anyway.

May your success always be something that makes you smile with pride, and may your heart be blessed in all you do.

Friday, October 14, 2016

New Release! Roping the Cowboy #RB4U #MFRWauthor #boxedset

Being part of the second RB4U Boxed set this year was looking doubtful for me when real life got in the way, and I was late with my story. BUT, thanks to patience from the organizers of this set and determination from me, I'm back! Westerns are really my favourite genre, but historical westerns, not so much contemporary. I chose a darker subject than usual for this one, it's a story about finding you way back to love and hope after devastating injuries - one psychological and the other physical. Ultimately, it's a love story, and one I hope readers enjoy! Have a sneak peek below, and don't forget to get your copy–it’s available wherever you like to buy your eBooks!

The Shadows in Our Past
Historical Western - sensual

Enroute home to Gold Ridge, Colorado after their honeymoon, David and Hannah Logan are attacked by a pair of bandits who plunge them back into a past they shared, but never truly came to terms with together... It’s been almost a year since the nightmare of violence and assault tore Hannah from David’s side and left him bereft and angry. When she returned to him, determined to rebuild what they’d lost, the light of love had come with her. Now, a new torment threatens to destroy everything, and Hannah’s biggest enemy might just be David himself…


“I wanted a father, and I got Jonas Wilkes. I needed to trust him, and he made me feel...” She shuddered, visibly changed her train of thought. “Then I met you; Gold Ridge’s most respected citizen. I’d never met anyone quite like you, David Logan. You were handsome, sophisticated, powerful... What was it Margaret called you? A charming outlaw.” She smiled. “She was right, that’s exactly what you are. But you took my breath away the moment I saw you. I will never forget that day, or turning around to see you on the stairs of the Nugget, all elegance and danger. You terrified me, and you excited me. I felt things in those first seconds that I have never felt before. My God, David, I think I fell in love with you before you even spoke to me.”

“You do know how to flatter me, Hannah,” he whispered.

“But it’s not flattery, David. Every time you walk into a room, you make my heart feel like it’s going to burst with the love that fills me. I can’t believe you’re my husband. That you chose to give me that much of your life.”

She smiled, tilted her head to one side, whimsical yet more serious than he’d ever seen her.

“Finish, Hannah,” he requested. “I want to know what you’re feeling.”

“Do you remember the first time you kissed me?”

He nodded.

“I would have behaved like a common whore for you that day, and it frightened me to death, David. I was with a fine, Southern gentleman. A man well-bred, respected, all the things that a lady wants. And instead of being a lady, I was ready to

His laughter stopped her abruptly.

“You do yourself a great disservice, Mrs. Logan,” he teased tenderly. “Any gentleman is still susceptible to the charms of a lovely woman. And you do take away my sense of propriety, Hannah.”

“The first time you made love to me, I was certain that God had put me on this earth to belong to you, David. You gave me everything that my heart had ever wanted, even the things I didn’t let myself hope for. I felt safe, and whole, at peace. Every time you touch me, I feel that way. Beautiful... complete...”

“Then why are you so afraid, Hannah?”

“I don’t want to be,” she said fiercely. “I hate it, David! I despise myself for feeling like this. But

“But?” he coaxed gently.

“Elizabeth was right,” she put her fingers to his mouth when he would have objected instantly. “She was right about some things, David. I’ll never know you the way Ellen did. I’m not from the same world. Your Southern honor is one of the things I love most about you, but it’s a mystery to me, too. You were married and fighting in a war when I was little more than a baby at my mother’s breast. Your soul was scarred in ways that I can only imagine.” Tears flooded her eyes as she stared up at him. “David, the sun in my world rises and sets in your eyes.” She gulped in a sharp breath. “I’ve never needed anyone that much, and it frightens me.”

David nodded, lifted her hands to his lips again as he kissed the fingers that shook within his light grasp; then he looked intently at her.

“Will you listen to me now?”

“Of course,” she replied, voice thick with emotion. She watched as he rose, took the other chair on the balcony, and set it directly in front of her. Then he sat and took her hands again.

“I love Elizabeth, Hannah,” he began quietly. “But, you’re wrong. She doesn’t know me. Not now. She remembers the child she grew up with, the young boy who adored her, and looked up to her. She loved Ellen; partly because I did; and partly because Ellen needed her approval and acceptance. Beth doesn’t know how to make you need those things from her, because the truth is, you don’t.” He smiled at her, warmed by the returning glow of devotion that stared back at him from her eyes. “The war cost us our way of life, and for some, it’s not a thing they’ll ever recover from. I feel like I’ve lived in two worlds for a long time, Hannah, not belonging fully to either one. When I let myself love you, I discovered that I had a home again.”

Her tears fell, silent, silvery trails of sorrow and gratitude that wet the gentle contours of her cheeks. David brushed them aside, then kissed her forehead.

“When you came to the Nugget after Wilkes left for St. Louis, I told myself that I was doing the honorable thing by protecting you.” He snorted softly, self-derisive. “I was doing nothing of the kind. I wanted you close to me, looking at me with that adoring, trusting awe that made my heart feel like it was trying to escape my body.”

“And I thought you didn’t want me near you.”

His laughter was low, genuinely amused.

“I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you,” he corrected. “I don’t think any woman has ever looked at me with the trust and respect that’s in your eyes each day. You humble me, Hannah. No one’s ever done that. Not even Ellen.”

Startled, she looked closer at him, felt herself falling into the aching darkness of his eyes. She slid off her chair and settled at his feet, her head in his lap. David’s fingers brushed through her hair, and she shivered as she stared up at him.

“You are one of the most courageous women I’ve known, Hannah. Strong, independent, passionate, and loyal. Any man can buy a whore, Hannah. Few men are lucky enough to know a woman’s heart is his possession, and that she can be trusted to keep his in return.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nothing To Lose with @DarleneLF #Romance #sweet #kindle

Nothing To Lose
Darlene Fredette
Escape Publishing

Sweet (PG) sweet romance, bakery, cakes, fireman, family.

She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances.

Blurb: Dwindling finances has Jesse Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jesse has nothing to lose. 

Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes. Like whether to break his own no-dating-employees rule and make a little room in his life for love. 


‘How hard can baking be? Easy‐peasy. Right?’ She knew her words to be untrue. She’d watched shows on the Food Network. The chefs on television made creating desserts appear simple, yet Jessie’s attempts always ended with opening a window and the lid on the garbage can.

‘I have no choice, and at this point I have nothing to lose.’ Jessie had thought the same before her previous four jobs. Though, she did excel at one particular skill—making bad choices. If only she could include that talent as a positive trait.

She drew in a deep breath to calm her racing pulse. Desperation rolled in the emptiness of her stomach. She’d just go into the bakery and win them over. She had to. The two hundred dollars in her bank account would cover her car payment. As long as I don’t eat or drive anywhere, I’m good.

Purchase Links:

Author Bio: Darlene resides on the East Coast of Canada with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab. When not working on her next book, she enjoys spending time with her family. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loves to develop the many stories swimming in her head. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. 

Contact links:

And now, Darlene is going to share a recipe Jesse uses in Nothing To Lose! Enjoy!!

Jesse’s Blueberry Muffins

In Nothing To Lose, Jesse has to prove her baking skills by cooking up a delicious treat. For someone whose previous attempts at baking ended in the trash can, she attempts to make these blueberry muffins.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups blueberries

Baking Tip - Jesse added a teaspoon of vanilla to her mixture, which is highly recommended!

In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
In separate bowl, cream butter with sugar; beat in eggs one at a time, and add the vanilla. Gradually stir in milk (mixture may appear curdled). 
Make a well in centre of dry ingredients; pour in liquid and stir just until moistened. 
Gently fold in blueberries.
Spoon into large paper-lined or well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. 
Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.

Did Jesse pass the baking test and get the job? You’ll have to read Nothing To Lose to find out!